A Guide to Intermittent Fasting
Intermittent Fasting, or IF as it is often known, has become extremely popular for both health and fitness. It’s not only easy, but it can help improve health while offering significant weight loss benefits. Additionally, the health benefits of IF may even help you live a longer life.
The Basics of Intermittent Fasting
As you’ve probably gathered from the name, IF is simply a way of eating that cycles between periods of eating and periods of fasting. There are no rules about which foods are permitted or not permitted; but, rather, it’s a program that determines when you eat or fast. While it does provide weight loss benefits, it’s not a conventional diet plan, but more accurately, is a pattern of eating.
Some common intermittent fasting schedules involve fasting for 16 hours a day, or a 24 hour fast, twice a week. Of course, fasting has been common throughout the history of human evolution because there were times when food just wasn’t available. Additionally, fasting is an important element in many major religions, including Christianity, Buddhism, and, Islam. Occasional fasting might actually be more natural that eating regular meals every day.
Popular Methods of Intermittent Fasting
This popular way of eating has been used for many years. Additionally, there are several methods that can be used for intermittent fasting. They all involve set periods of fasting and eating. During the fasting period, you eat either nothing at all or you might have very little, such as coffee or tea.
3 Popular Methods
The 16/8 Method or Leangains protocol: This method is one of the most popular intermittent fasting methods. It involves skipping breakfast, then restricting the period of eating for 8 hours during the day. For example, you eat from 12 pm to 8 pm, and fast for the remaining 16 hours.
The 5:2 Diet: This eating method allows you to eat normally 5 days each week, but on two non-consecutive days, you limit calories to only 500 – 600 total caloric intake.
Eat-Stop-Eat: This method involves a 24 hour fast either once or twice each week. For example, you might fast from dinner one night until dinner the next night.
Each of these methods will help you lose weight, but you have to be careful to not over compensate by over eating when you’re on an eating cycle.
Intermittent Fasting is Excellent for Weight Loss
Many people turn to intermittent fasting as a way to lose weight. Of course, when you’re eating fewer meals, you’re naturally reducing the number of calories you’re consuming. However, in addition to the automatic weight loss that comes with eating fewer calories, intermittent fasting also changes hormone levels. This change in hormones can facilitate faster weight loss. Short term fasting can actually increase your metabolic rate for faster weight loss.
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